US could stage 2007 cup matches

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The Independent Online

A senior International Cricket Council official signalled yesterday that the option of staging some World Cup matches in the United States in 2007 is being given serious consideration.

The tournament is due to be hosted in the West Indies, but the council believes there is also an opportunity to raise the profile of the sport in the US.

"The ICC has been looking at the option of fast-tracking cricket development in the USA, and this includes the possibility of some 2007 World Cup games being played in the US," said Andrew Eade, the council's global development manager after a meeting of ICC development committee and USA Cricket Association officials in New York.

The US, ranked 16th of the ICC's 84 member countries, failed to qualify for this year's World Cup after finishing fifth in the ICC Trophy qualifying tournament behind Netherlands, Canada, Namibia and Scotland.

But the ICC president-elect Ehsan Mani has indicated his desire to see the game take off on the North American continent, arguing: "You can't truly have an international game based on 10 teams. You have to be expansionist and open up new markets."

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